Notice of November Board Meeting

The next Regular Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners, of Mill Creek MetroParks is scheduled for Monday, November 19, 2018, at 6 p.m. in McMahon Hall, at the MetroParks Farm, on Rt. 46 in Canfield. The agenda will be available on the website after 2 p.m. on the day of the meeting.

Mill Creek MetroParks Drive Closures

East Newport Drive and the Kreider’s Entrance roadway to East Newport Drive in Mill Creek Park will be temporarily closed for the MetroParks’ annual lane paving project. The work is scheduled to begin on Monday, November 19, 2018, and will continue for several days. Both drives will reopen once vehicular traffic is permitted.


While the drives are closed, vehicular and pedestrian access to nearby facilities will be impacted. The closure will impact the following facilities:

  • Daffodil Meadow
  • East Newport Boat Launch


In the event of inclement weather, the work schedule will be delayed and adjusted accordingly.

Mill Creek MetroParks Dek Hockey Rink Project Wins Award

The Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) has announced its 2018 Annual Awards of Excellence winners. Mill Creek MetroParks’ Wick Recreation Area Dek Hockey Rink Project placed 3rd in the Capital Improvement Projects under $1,000,000 category. The awards are judged by a panel of parks and recreation professionals from around Ohio. “Parks and recreation professionals throughout Ohio work every day to improve the quality of life of the people they serve,” said OPRA Executive Director Woody Woodward.  “This effort is a shining example of that kind of work, and we are pleased to be able to present this award.”


The MetroParks partnered with the Youngstown Phantoms Hockey Team of the United States Hockey League (USHL) and the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation to renovate the former ice skating rink at Wick Recreation Area into a street hockey rink, also known as Dek Hockey. The goal of the project focused on improving functionality and use through rehabilitation, restoration, and adaptive reuse. The vision was to create year-round public availability, play for individuals or groups, league play, and instructional programming for both youths & adults thus making Wick Recreation Area a premiere regional, four-season, active recreation facility. The scope of the project included installation of dasher boards and chain link fencing, tile surfacing, scoreboard, overhead structures for player benches, and site work including demolition, concrete repair, and electrical work.


Along with donations from The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Home Savings Bank, the incredible outreach continued on a hot day in August 2018. Local volunteers and representatives from the Pittsburgh Foundation, Youngstown Phantoms, Home Savings Bank, and Mill Creek MetroParks joined together to install the decking material for the rink. “This project exemplifies the culmination of planning that included adaptive reuse, third-party funding, partnerships and volunteerism, which serves as the model for future MetroParks’ projects,” says Mill Creek MetroParks Executive Director Aaron Young. “Partnerships like this allows us to increase recreational opportunities to our park visitors.”


The OPRA Annual Awards of Excellence will be presented at a banquet hosted by the association on February 5, 2019 in Sandusky, Ohio.


About OPRA

Incorporated in 1963, OPRA is a non-profit, public interest organization representing over 1400 professionals and citizen board members striving to provide quality parks and recreation facilities and opportunities for all Ohioans while protecting and preserving Ohio’s natural resources, positively impacting local economies and health and wellness of its citizens.


MetroParks Awarded NatureWorks Grant for Disc Golf Course

Mill Creek MetroParks has been conditionally awarded funding through the twenty-fifth (25th) round of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) NatureWorks grant program. The MetroParks plans to install an 18-hole disc golf course at the MetroParks Farm in Canfield Township. The course will utilize the Farm’s beautiful landscape, changes in topography, and scenic vistas to establish a truly unique recreational experience. 

The construction of a disc golf course continues the MetroParks’ effort to provide additional and diverse recreation opportunities throughout the county, and reinforces the MetroParks’ commitment of securing third-party funding for new active recreation facilities.

This NatureWorks funding is awarded on the condition that the State of Ohio Controlling Board approved the NatureWorks grant awards at its upcoming meeting. The NatureWorks grant provides up to seventy-five percent (75%) funding, namely $16,056.00, for the project. The project, pending approval of the budget by the MetroParks’ Board of Park Commissioners, will be scheduled for construction as a 2019 capital improvement project.

Mahoning Valley Watercolor Society Exhibit Now on Display in Weller Gallery

Mill Creek MetroParks presents ” Mahoning Valley Watercolor Society: Celebrates Color!” by members of the Watercolor Society, now currently on display in the Weller Gallery at Fellows Riverside Gardens. This exhibit showcases the variety of styles and interest of this enthusiastic local painting group. Thirty-three (33) artists display their skillful talents with watercolor and other media. The imaginings, color and energy come together as one exhibit not to be missed. Some places are instantly recognizable, others may inspire travel destinations.


This free exhibit is being displayed now through January 6, 2019 during normal operating hours of Tuesdays – Sundays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed Mondays. A Meet the Artist session will take place on Sunday, November 18, 2018 from 1 – 3 pm in the Weller Gallery at Fellows Riverside Gardens. Take this opportunity to meet and visit with these talented, local artists.


For more information on this exhibit and/or the Meet the Artist session, visit or call Fellows Riverside Gardens at 330.740.7116.

Notice of MetroParks Standing Committee Meetings

The Nature Education Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Thursday, November 8, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm.


The Environment Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Thursday, November 15, 2018, at 12 noon, in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm.


The Community Engagement Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Friday, November 16, 2018, at 10 a.m. in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm.


The Development Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Friday, November 16, 2018, at 3 p.m. in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm.


The Finance Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Saturday, November 17, 2018, at 10 a.m. in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm.


The Horticulture Standing Committee to the Board of Park Commissioners of Mill Creek MetroParks will meet on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, at 6 p.m. in Classroom A at the MetroParks Farm.

Dividing Sycamore Bridge Rehabilitation Project Planned for Mill Creek Park (PID #107210)

Mill Creek MetroParks is soliciting public comment for an upcoming bridge improvement project. The proposed project involves improvements to the Dividing Sycamore Bridge located in proximity to the intersection of Bears Den Drive and West Drive. Proposed project activities consist of furnishing labor, materials and equipment necessary to clean, repair, tuck point stone masonry, strengthen the south retaining wall using a tie-back system, repair erosion by installing natural stone-filled gabions along the stream channel, stone curb adjustments, resurfacing of the asphalt concrete pavement over the bridge, and all other tasks incidental to completion of this project.


The project is scheduled to begin construction in the summer of 2019 with an estimated construction cost of $205,000. A significant portion (80%) of the projects funding will be provided by ODOT through Federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funds ($164,000). The MetroParks will provide the remaining 20% ($41,000) in match funds, as well as professional engineering, contract management and construction project management/inspection services.


This project is expected to be complete in approximately sixty (60) days. During construction, the Dividing Sycamore Bridge will be closed to all pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle traffic for approximately forty-five (45) days. A detour route will be provided for vehicular traffic. Construction schedule, bridge closure, and detour information will be posted near the Dividing Sycamore Bridge project site, and on the Mill Creek MetroParks website ( prior to the start of construction. Access to Lower Bears Den Picnic Area and all other MetroParks facilities will be maintained at all times throughout the project.


To ensure the proposed project is viable and successful, Mill Creek MetroParks is seeking comments from the public about the social, environmental, and economic impacts of this proposed project. Environmental impacts include those involving archaeological, architectural and ecological resources, regulated materials and the general location of the project. ODOT also requests information regarding the presence of any known cultural resources in the vicinity of the project including prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, historic bridges, historic buildings, landmarks and districts. Any comments you may have regarding the environmental and/or the proposed project may be submitted by December 7, 2018.


All public comments, questions and/or concerns about the project are welcomed, and should be directed to:


Mill Creek MetroParks

Re: Nick Derico, Natural Resources Steward

P.O. Box 596

Canfield, Ohio 44406

Phone: 330.702.3000 x 136

Fax: 330.702.3010

Mill Creek MetroParks Ford Nature Center Receives $1 Million Gift

The campaign to renovate Mill Creek MetroParks Ford Nature Center received a $1 million challenge grant from the Sand Hill Foundation of Menlo Park, California. The Sand Hill Foundation is a private family foundation established by the late Tom Ford and Susan Ford in 1995. The $3 million campaign to renovate the 106 year old former Robinson Mansion, which houses the Ford Nature Center, has raised $1 million to date. The challenge grant offered by the Sand Hill Foundation will match new donations to the campaign up to $1 million.

The estate was originally gifted to Mill Creek MetroParks in 1968 by the heirs of the late Judge John W. Ford. After a brief period of hosting the park’s administration offices, the site was transformed into the Ford Nature Center in 1972. Since then, many generations of Valley residents have enjoyed the exhibits, programs, walking trails and special events contained within the MetroParks. The Center receives over 14,000 school children visits every year.

“On behalf of the staff of the MetroParks and the board of directors of the Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation, I would like to express my gratitude to Susan Ford Dorsey for this generous gift. This gift will allow us to not only extend the mission of educating the park’s visitors about the natural wonders of the world for generations to come, but it also extends the wonderful legacy of the Ford Family here at Mill Creek,” says Chris Litton, Mill Creek MetroParks Director of Development.

Mill Creek MetroParks Parking Lot Closures

Multiple parking lots throughout Mill Creek Park will be temporarily closed for the MetroParks annual pavement markings project. The work is scheduled to begin on Thursday, October 25, 2018, and will continue for several days. Lots will reopen once vehicular traffic is permitted. Several of the prominent lots scheduled for work include the following:

·         East Golf Bike & Hike Trail – South (State Route 224 Parking Lot)

·         Golf Course – South Lot

·         Ford Nature Center Parking Area

·         Pioneer Pavilion

·         Lower Bears Den – East and West

Several minor lots along West Newport Drive and West Glacier Drive will also be affected. While the lots are closed, the facilities they support will remain open and accessible for public use. Rentals and scheduled programming will not be impacted by this project. Please use alternate parking lots to access these facilities when lots are closed.


In the event of inclement weather, the work schedule will be delayed and adjusted accordingly.

Mill Creek Park Golf Staff Win Prestigious Northern Ohio PGA Awards

Mill Creek Golf Course Head Professional, Andy Santor has won the 2018 Northern Ohio PGA Sections Teacher of the Year Award. The “PGA Teacher of the Year Award” bestows special recognition on a PGA Golf Professional who has performed outstanding services as a golf teacher and coach. The Teacher of the Year Award is designed to recognize a PGA Professional who is an outstanding teacher of golf among the ranks of PGA membership. This award is based on a professional’s overall performance in teaching; unusual, innovative and special teaching programs initiated or implemented; articles published; as well as outstanding golfers the professional has instructed.


Mill Creek MetroParks PGA Director of Golf, Brian Tolnar also took home the 2018 Northern Ohio PGA Sections Merchandiser of the Year Award. The Merchandiser of the Year Award signifies the PGA Professional who has excelled as a business person in merchandising and promotion of the game of golf.  Demonstration of skill in planning and promotion of sales by presenting products to his/her market on a timely basis, and through the use of specialized merchandising techniques that include display and advertising. The PGA honors PGA Professionals in three categories: Private, Public and Resort facilities. This marks the third time Brian has achieved this award dating back to 2016 for the Northern Ohio PGA section while at Mill Creek Golf Course and in 2013 for the Western New York PGA Section while at Blue Heron Hills Golf Club in Rochester, NY. 


An awards ceremony hosted by the Northern Ohio PGA Section was held on Monday, October 22, 2018 at the Westfield Country Clubs Cary Blair Center in Westfield Center, OH.